Telstar’s Best Of Dance ’96 sees a return to business as usual after the one-off rebrand that was The Best Of Dance Mania ’95. The 44 track allocation is retained; a little too much for comfort given the inevitable truncation that arises. This time: “seriously big dance hits”.
You’ll have already read my thoughts on many of these tunes in previous reviews. So I’ll be selective. We start with two whoppers; a brace of the year’s top anthems. Underworld’s Born Slippy or Born Slippy .NUXX (short ii) [… short] played over Trainspotting’s pivotal final scene. The soon-to-be-closed Screen Cinema on D’Olier Street being the popcorn venue. Dublin Film Festival haunt too. It’s followed by The Prodigy’s rebirth, Firestarter which is ignited by elements from The Breeders’ SOS and The Art Of Noise’s Close (To The Edit). Meanwhile the Macarena ying-yang goes south on the Los Del Mar misstep.
Disco juice: Gat Decor’s inventive Passion and Duke’s bouncy boogie So In Love With You. Spanish house: David Penn mixes James Brown samples on the chugging Night Train. And Pizzaman is back with the filtered beats of Trippin’ On Sunshine while Awesome 3 put the very lovely Julie McDermott on vocals for Don’t Go ’96. For the superior older version check out Now Dance Summer ’94 . Killer A: Leftfield’s searching, soaring and jubilant Release The Pressure. And B: Sneaker Pimps’ haunting trip hop 6 Underground. Moody, delicious and disturbing. Elsewhere N-Trance’s Electronic Pleasure is exactly so.
A remixed S-Express theme is out of time. Yet it still reached #14. Better – Apollo 440’s percussive Krupa. Just in – Professional Widow; a smash to follow in ’97. Cloakroom belter – Huff and Puff’s Help Me Make It. Kris needs it. Space spaced out on the Me And You remix. Get the Deep Zone spell; minimal tech-trance of It’s Gonna Be Alright. Ibiza’s melter Frank ‘O Moiraghi’s Feel My Body touched up by Rollo. I’m not mad on Junior Vasquez’s If Madonna Calls but Tanya Louise’s Deep In You cuts quite a soulful rug.
RoMo: a musical and clubbing movement begat by glam and stylish pop, 1995 to 1997. London based, Club Skinny vs Arcadia. Championed by Melody Maker but hated by the NME. Simon Price and Taylor Parkes. One of the main novers were Orlando, all alienated white soul. And a late addition to the party were Belvedere Kane. The frontman being Barry Stone who would become half of the Jewels and Stone writing and production duo. Never Felt As Good is the closing track on this compilation; a devastatingly brilliant slice of doomed romantic modernism. Sadly it failed to trouble the top 75 and has never been compiled elsewhere. A well kept secret and one pop’s lost classics. Savour its greatness.
“I only took the bare essentials,
the things I’d really need
– my oldest Motown records,
my Abba hits CDs”
Underworld – Born Slippy
The Prodigy – Firestarter
Sneaker Pimps – 6 Underground
Leftfield – Release The Pressure
N-Trance – Electronic Pleasure
Lest we forget
Belvedere Kane – Never Felt As Good
I’ve finally found someone else who loves that Belvedere Kane track! I had no idea that it was part of a ‘movement’. When I play it to people I invariably get told that it sounds like ‘I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing’ by Pet Shop Boys (which it does, to be fair!)
Hi Andy – it’s deadly! Yes, there’s a similarity alright. He’s from the same part of Ireland as me.
Agreed with both of you on the BK track! 🙂
To which I would add:
Tori Amos (To reach the Top 10 the following year):
I’d say this was a pretty good compilation, featuring some of the more uplifting dance track from that year.
My favourite of all the “Best of Dance” series. Quite a few fillers on it, some obscure stuff as Telstar were clearly struggling at the time to license some of the bigger tunes under competition from Global, EMI group, Polygram etc.
A very decent entry, worth the price for Belvedere Kane tune.
Agreed, and so much more on what was a great cd 2. Sneaker Pimps became a big hit the year after. Tori Amos hit no 1 the year after. 2 quite perceptive inclusions. Always loved Tony De Vit (RIP) remix of Too Spicy. Pity Ant & Dec appear on there. I prefer the normal 7″ of ‘If Madonna Calls’ but this is ok. I found Tanya Louise’s track on cd recently and love it. Remixed by Stonebridge, very much under everyone’s radar. And Belvedere Kane. New Romantic 90s dance. Sometimes compilers produce one disc that is genius, that works, that leads you along a path. This does.
Half of this compilation also appears on 100% Dance Hits 96 which, arguably, is a superior compilation in terms of selecting the bigger dance hits. Tracks missing include Children, Keep On Jumpin’, So Pure, Disco’s Revenge, I Need A Lover Tonight, Jazz It Up, all strong tracks. If I could have picked one from that to appear on Best of Dance 96, it would have been ‘Up To No Good’ by The Porn Kings.
Great sum-up Andrew, a trip indeed. A very well sequenced second disc. With foresight!
Further information about the Belvedere Kane track, according to Wikipedia it made the grand old chart position of 127!
Heady heights! Love that tune though
Played it to my 8 year old and he thought it was by the Weeknd!
Ha! Astute enough, it is a bit.
Nice choices Cosmo. Was the Tori Amos released before end of ’96? Don’t remember buying mine until January 1997
Professional Widow was included as a sort of “double A-side” on Hey Jupiter. #20 in August. I think the dance version was included there. Could be wrong, though.
Cheers. That Chart Stats site was a great resource.
I used to love it as well. Much easier and better to use than the Official Charts website.
It’s finally died recently. Shame, as I agree it’s better than the official chart website. Britburn is a clunky alternative but has some useful info. I presume it’s all accurate. http://www.britburn.co.uk/
Cheers – good tip!
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